Planning Stops in New York City; Same for Construction in Boston

Planning and building the future will have to wait.

2 minute read

March 17, 2020, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

New York Construction

Construction work at the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center, pictured in December 2019. | Yingna Cai / Shutterstock

From a March 16, 2020 press release on the New York City Department of City Planning website:

“To avoid the need to hold public gatherings and minimize the potential spread of COVID-19, Mayor Bill de Blasio has temporarily suspended New York City’s land use decision making processes. The suspension of the City's official public review process, the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), was made via Executive Order.

As of the issuance of this Executive Order, all City Planning Commission meetings, including public hearings and votes required as part of land use review processes, are suspended and the time periods for hearings and votes will not run.”

The press release only promises an announcement of when the land use review process will resume in the city, but does not offer a projected timeline.

Meanwhile in Boston on the same day, Tim Logan reports that Mayor Marty J. Walsh "ordered a stop to all construction projects in the city, citing concerns about worker safety and a need to blunt the spread of the highly contagious virus." The move brings the city's ongoing building boom to a halt, according to Logan.

"The move will bring billions of dollars of construction work to an abrupt halt, leaving the prospect of half-finished office towers and apartment buildings all over town, at least for the time being," writes Logan. Still unclear: where the economic pain of the shutdown will be felt most acutely: "A web of investors, developers, large general contractors, and smaller subcontractors all have money on the line in a major project, and often promise firm delivery dates to potential tenants. The longer the shutdown, the more those costs will grow."

Monday, March 16, 2020 in NYC Planning

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